What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that affects movements, emotions, and other body functions. It is a degenerative condition that begins with minor resting tremors, shaking and stiffness, then progresses into more serious symptoms over time.
How Does it Happen?
The cause of Parkinson’s is unknown. We do know that the brain requires a substance called dopamine, which is necessary for your body to be in control its movements. In Parkinson’s disease the brain does not make enough dopamine, therefore affecting the way your body functions.
Most patients with Parkinson’s disease experience resting tremors, shaking, stiffness, and slowness of movement. As Parkinson’s progresses patients will experience difficulties with gait including shuffling steps and balance dysfunction. Parkinson’s can also affect a patient’s posture, voice, facial expressions and handwriting.
What Can Physical Therapy Do?
Aside from prescription medications, physical therapy is important in helping patients manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Therapeutic exercise can improve walking, moving from sitting to standing, endurance, and decrease your risk of falling. Use of the Anti Gravity treadmill and bicycle which we have here in our office has been proven to improve muscle strength, and function. One of our therapists will thoroughly evaluate the new patient and devise a plan of care for your treatment.